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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Basics of Co-existence and Inter-faith Dialogue

Via Sigmund, Carl and Alfred, a most interesting article:
The Basics of Co-existence and Inter-faith Dialogue, by Magdi Khalil Executive Editor of the Egyptian weekly Watani International
• To set a foundation for a constructive dialogue, the prominent Muslim organizations would first of all have to reject violence publicly

• The paradox of demanding an apology while continuing to practice that same violence profusely

• The dialogue should only revolve around shared human values as a means to reduce conflicts
Among the points he raises:
Holy violence features clearly in Islamic thinking, as a necessary undertaking, whether it is defensive or offensive. The reasons given to justify the use of violence are unsound; and not only used in a context of self-defense but also to validate acts of pure aggression. Muslim societies usually adopt that twisted and unacceptable logic in their dealings with the outside world. They have heaped insults upon insults on Pope Benedict XVI, as if he were the author of holy violence, while Muslim societies are actually witnessing acts of holy violence on a daily basis.
. . .
Quranic verses such as "there shall be no coercion in religion," and "Let him who pleases believe, and let him who pleases disbelieve," have never been applied throughout the history of Islam.
. . .
To acknowledge these [Human Rights] charters is to acknowledge that there is one purpose at the heart of all religions, which is the ultimate Divine purpose, namely the good and happiness of mankind. The Muslim countries hold an unyielding position in regards to those charters, maintaining that they are acceptable only as long as they do not contradict the Shari’a, thus subverting their content and significance.
. . .
The current Pope of Rome refuses to settle for this empty shell of a dialogue and is determined to address the real issues.
Read every word.

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